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LA elementary school teacher held on child sex abuse charges

Los Angeles elementary school teacher Robert Pimental, 57, has been charged with sexually abusing 20 students and one adult.

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LA choolteacher Robert Pimental, 57, was charged with sexually abusing 20 students and one adult. (Mario Tama/AFP/Getty Images)

A Los Angeles elementary school teacher has been charged with sexually abusing 20 students and one adult.

Robert Pimental, 57, was arrested Wednesday and charged with eight counts of continual sexual abuse and seven counts of lewd acts upon a child, the Associated Press reported

The abuse allegedly took place abuse at George De La Torre Jr. Elementary in the Wilmington area.

Pimental, from Newport Beach, left his position with the school when the investigation began on March 15, 2012, NBC reported

NBC cited a Los Angeles Police Department statement as saying:

"The investigation began when several girls told their parents that they had been inappropriately touched by a fourth-grade teacher during school at George De La Torre Jr. Elementary."

Los Angeles Unified School District spokesman Daryl Strickland said in a statement that Pimental "chose to retire" before the education board could dismiss him.

Pimental had worked for the LAUSD since 1974.

George De La Torre Jr. Elementary, which opened in 2006, had about 800 students, NBC reported.

According to the AP, bail was set at $12 million and an arraignment date had not been set.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130124/la-elementary-school-teacher-held-child-sex-abus